Posted July 12, 2009 02:50 am - Updated July 12, 2009 03:09 am

How to make paper flowers in a paper bag vase

Paper flowers in paper bag vase.
Tammie McClure

This fun craft was made using a brown paper lunch bag, all tied up with left over ribbons and filled with tissue paper flowers. It costs very little to make and can be a fun project to do either alone or with children. Most of the items for this project you may already have at home, especially if you are a regular crafter.

You can also vary the theme. During the holidays, small paper bags with holiday designs are generally available where you find wrapping paper. Bags such as that can be used in place of the bag above or even a traditional gift bag. You can click on the photo to see a larger version with more detail.

Items you will need:

  • Tissue paper in various colors
  • Paper lunch bag (or other bag of choice as mentioned above)
  • Floral foam
  • Knife (for cutting floral foam)
  • Ribbons in your choice of colors and sizes
  • Exacto knife
  • Hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Floral wire or pipe cleaners if working with young children
  • Scissors
  • Floral tape
  • Green scrapbook or construction paper or silk flower leaves
  • Masking or invisible tape

Paper bag 'vase' instructions:

Step 1: To make the paper bag vase, simply open the paper bag and along the crease of each corner use the hole punch to space holes roughly a 1/2 inch apart.

Step 2: Roll the top of the bag down a few times to a height you feel is best for your project.

Step 3: Tie a knot in two 12 to 14-inch long pieces of ribbon that will prevent the ribbon from slipping through the punched hole and begin 'lacing' the side of the bag with the two pieces of ribbon. See the picture above for an idea on this. Once you reach the top, tie a bow to tie it off and move to the next set of holes to lace up.

Step 4: OPTIONAL - If you would like to do as the photo above illustrates and add a decorative strip of ribbon to the center of the bag, cut two 1-inch wide slits very carefully with an Exacto knife. You may want to use several sheets of thick cardboard inside the bag to prevent it cutting all the way through or damaging your work surface. Trim an approximately 5-inch long piece of 1-inch wide ribbon and slip inside the holes as you see in the photo. Inside the bag, you may want to tape the ribbon to the bag to keep it from slipping out using either masking tape or invisible tape.

Step 5: Cut floral foam to fit bag proportions to within 1-inch of the top of the bag. Set the bag vase aside.

Paper flower instructions:

Many people may already know how to make simple paper flowers such as these, but in case you cannot recall from childhood or simply have never made paper flowers before, these instructions are for you.

Step 1: Layer 6 sheets of tissue paper together and using a ruler to measure 5 inches by 7 inches, cut through the size layers with scissors.

Step 2: Begin folding the 5-by-7 stack of 6 tissue papers accordion style, each fold about 1/2 inch wide. The work is much like you fold a paper fan.

Step 3: Once the paper is folded then fold in the middle to form a crease. If you increase the size of the paper, say instead of 5 by 7 you chose 8 by 10, you will want to fold wider folds, around 1 inch wide and instead of the center crease, use the scissors to cut small insets.

Step 4: Cut a piece of floral wire or pipe cleaner to about 4 inches long.

Step 5: Wrap floral wire or pipe cleaner around center of folded paper, securing it well.

Step 6: There are two different types of edges that can be used. You can trim the folded ends of the tissue paper in a curve or simply cut points. The points are the easiest and there is little difference in the look.

Step 7: Holding the floral wire 'stem,' carefully fluff out the tissue paper folds to form the flower. This takes a bit of patience not to rip the delicate paper.

Step 8: Once the flower has 'bloomed,' attach the short stem to a longer piece of floral wire using floral tape. Vary the length of the stems just as you would for a real bouquet.

Step 9: Begin arranging the flowers in the paper bag vase, pushing the floral wire carefully into the foam. Do not leave the stems too long or you might push right through the floral foam and through the bag itself.

Step 10: Make construction paper leaves and attach to floral wire stems or use purchased silk leaves and greenery.

Note: You can also use loops of ribbons attached to floral wire with floral tape for extra decorations within the bouquet.